By Carol Mills. Executive Director, Newaygo County CMH
Earlier this week, the Grant Public School Board took the extraordinary action to terminate the contract for the school health center. This was done without any advance notice to either the community or Family Health Care, the provider.
As the Executive Director of Newaygo County Mental Health, I am both dismayed and outraged that this decision to close the Health Center was executed in such an underhanded manner, without transparent communication and due consideration for the well-being of the students.
The Children and Adolescent Health Center (CAHC) has been an essential support for the students of Grant Public Schools, providing crucial healthcare services that are vital to their physical and mental well-being. With an on-site health center, students have had the advantage of immediate access to medical professionals who can address their concerns promptly and effectively.
The CAHC provides a wide range of services that are not easily accessible elsewhere, especially for families with limited financial means or transportation options. Students rely on the center for many services, including physical and mental health counseling services. As a result of the cancellation of this contract, these students will not receive the care they deserve and need. The closure of this health center jeopardizes the health and safety of the students, especially those with mental health needs. The center is a primary tool in the prevention of teen suicide and self-harm.
I am also deeply concerned about the message this closure sends to the students. It sends the message that Grant Public Schools does not prioritize the mental and physical health and well being of their students.
It is disheartening to learn that the closure of this vital and important community resource was orchestrated without any consultation with the school community, parents and students. The lack of transparency surrounding the closure of the health center raises concerns about the school board, which has an obligation to act in the best interests of the entire school community. This recent action of canceling the contract, without open dialogue and engagement shows a general disregard for the welfare of students and families in the Grant community.
I implore the school board to immediately reconsider its decision and take the necessary steps to reinstate this contract. It is imperative that all stakeholders, including parents, students, and faculty are given the opportunity to provide input, voice their concerns, and be heard.
I encourage all community members to make their voices heard, and their opinions known. The CAHC provides the students of Grant Public Schools with vital and critical services for both their physical and mental health. These services are not easily replaced. As a community, please come together and advocate for the reversal of this decision.
This can be done in many ways, including writing the Grant School Board in care of the administrative office at 148 East Elder Avenue, Grant, MI 49327, calling the school offices, or attending the next school board meeting on July 17, 2023. Please speak up in any way you can – this community is better than this, and we need to do better for the children of the Grant School District.
County Drain Commissioner weighs in on lake levels
During this long hot dry spell all the lakes in the county are lower than normal, some more than others depending on how they are fed. I am in charge of seven court ordered lake levels. Six of those have small dams and one we pump water into from a well.
Three of the six lake levels are adjusted for a winter and summer level in April and November. All of these structures are inspected by engineers every 3 years and are in good working condition. The structures were engineered to keep the level at the prescribed height during normal conditions.
If we have unusually wet periods I can let extra water out to maintain the proper height, however in drought type conditions I have no way to help keep them correct. Only the good Lord can provide the moisture needed. In hot sunny weather lakes evaporate 1/4 inch a day and if extremely hot and dry can be higher.
Newaygo County Drain Commissioner
By Ken DeLaat
Nothing stokes the pages of local social media groups like a good juicy rumor.
This week’s favorite? There was a recent ad in the Hi Lites attempting to rally the citizenry in an all out battle to stop the possible proliferation of chickens in the city limits of Fremont.
That’s trouble. With a capital T. and that rhymes with C and that stands for Chickens! (apologies to Meredith Wilson).
The ad was in reference to a recent consideration by the Fremont City Council to allow backyard fowl for feather loving egg seekers. The ad outlined the near catastrophic effect this would have on residents what with the noise and odor and such.
Think about it. It’s a huge issue and the leadership in the city was taking a big step in contemplating such a controversial change to the very fabric of the Fremont lifestyle.
The ad encouraged folks to talk to their council members and express their displeasure.
We like that. We want people involved.
Except the rumor was totally and unequivocally false.
Not a shred of chat about chickens had occurred at any council meetings
Council Member Lola Harmon Ramsey pointed out that the anonymous person who bought an ad in the Hi-Lites to alert the town of this upcoming travesty was mistaken.
I’m thinking , perhaps Mayor Rynberg once referenced a chicken salad sandwich he had enjoyed at the Moon Dance Cafe but beyond that there seems to be no evidence of chicken talk at Council meetings.
Which reminds me…
Years ago I was interviewing Dan Gerber who was in town for a poetry reading. We spoke of his younger years in Fremont and he said with a smile,“My Dad used to say ‘Not much happens in a small town but it sure doesn’t keep people from talking about it’.”
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